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Keywords: There Is No Such Thing As "The One True Church"
Some Christians think that God wants one big unified Church organization, with one correct doctrine, and one correct form of practice. The Catholics believe this, and they think that the Catholic church is the one true Church. Similarly, Orthodox Christians believe this, and they think that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church. Mormons make the very same mistake, and they incorrectly think they are the one true Church. And even some mainstream Protestant denominations seem to believe this, and they are trying to form mergers, working toward yet another "one true church."
But they all are wrong. The whole idea of "one true Church" is wrong. The words "one church" and the words "true church" never appear anywhere in the entire Bible! I searched the whole Bible by computer, and these words are not in there! It is a doctrine of man based on a misreading of Ephesians 4:4-6.
EPHESIANS 4:4-6 (RSV) _____________________________________________________________ 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. _____________________________________________________________The "one faith" mentioned in in verse 5 does not mean "one correct doctrine" covering all questions, like the Catholics and the Orthodox and the Mormons try to have. And it certainly does not mean one big Church organization, with centralized control by fallible human beings! God forbid!
No. The "one faith" is simply this: that "Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, risen from the dead, and He is Lord." This is the one thing that separates Christians from non-Christians. If you believe it and are willing to say it in public, you are a Christian. If not, you are not a Christian.
At Internet Church Of Christ, we express this as our "Fundamental Statement of Faith:"
"We declare that Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, risen from the dead, and we accept Him as our personal Lord and Saviour."These are the only conditions for full Christian salvation, as clearly expressed in Romans 10:9 . . .
_____________________________________________________________ because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 RSV) _____________________________________________________________
IF WE HAVE "THE FAITH," WE ARE CHRISTIANS AND WE ARE SAVED. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS IN US BECAUSE OF THIS, "THE FAITH." IF WE DO NOT HAVE "THE FAITH," THEN WE ARE NOT CHRISTIANS AND WE ARE NOT SAVED.
This is of course, the same idea as presented in John 3:16, the most powerful verse in the Bible. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 KJV)
How do we know if we have the faith? Here is the best test, as described by the Christian writer known as Witness Lee in his book "Life-Study Of Romans." He writes that years ago, he was questioning if he had the faith or not, and the Lord told him, "Do you not believe? Try your best not to believe." He tried and he tried, but he was unable not to believe in Jesus Christ. Because of this, he knew that he had the faith and he was saved.
I tried this myself, not to believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God, risen from the dead. I cannot do it either. Praise the Lord! This means that I, too, have "the faith" and am saved!
Now it's your turn. Do you have "the faith?" If so, I am very happy for you. If not, you need to get it.
A Study Of "The Faith," As Recorded In The King James Bible Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. Acts 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 1 Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. 1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. * * *So forget about the whole idea of "one true church!" We are never going to have it, and God does not want us to have it. For His own reasons, He wants the details of true doctrine to be unclear to us at this time. (Probably, this is to keep us from becoming too arrogant in our own self-righteousness.)
_____________________________________________________________ "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV) _____________________________________________________________The only "faith" that He wants us all to have is the simple faith that Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, risen from the dead, and that He is Lord. In this faith, all Christians are already united, as one in Him.
Blessings to you in Jesus Christ our Lord,
Rev. Bill McGinnis <><
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